Whether you want to visit land-based casinos, play online casino games, or make sports wagers in Canada, here are the five key things you need to know about 2021 Canadian gambling laws.
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1. Gambling Was Not Always Legal in Canada
In 1892, The Criminal Code was introduced in Canada to outlaw all gambling based on offences against morality, religion, and public conveniences. The code was not altered until 1969 when lotteries were newly allowed to take place to raise funds for good causes. In 1976, sports lotteries were made legal. It was not until 1985 that the federal government turned over control of gambling activities to individual provinces. Post-1985, that meant many provinces offered gambling activities such as lotteries, horse race wagering via the telephone, slot machines, video gambling games, and land-based casinos.
2. There Are Dozens of Legal Casinos in Canada to Visit in 2021
Today, there are dozens of casinos throughout Canada. Most are either government-owned or operated by the First Nations. There are also private facilities. The first government-owned casino to open its doors was the Crystal Casino in Winnipeg, which launched in 1991. It did not occupy an actual building of its own, though. It was located on the seventh floor of the Fort Garry Hotel. The casino closed in 1999, but the province of Manitoba now has five other gambling venues to choose from. Other notable casinos that you can visit in Canada today include the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, which is the largest casino in British Columbia, Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, which overlooks the Horseshoe Falls of Niagara, and Casino de Charlevoix, which is located in the beautiful setting of Pointe-au-Pic, right next to the majestic Laurentian Mountains and the stunning Saint Lawrence River.
3. Canadians Can Gamble Online
If you want to play games online like roulette, blackjack, and poker in Canada, you can simply check out this Canadian online casino and begin gaming. You can legally engage with both online casino games and some forms of sports betting. However, the exact laws in Canada regarding online gambling are not straightforward. As long as the provider of online casino games or sports betting is licensed within the country, the site is entirely legal to use. On the other hand, many Canadians play games at offshore casinos and place bets with offshore providers. While those casinos and providers are not licensed in Canada, Canadians can still access them without any legal repercussions whatsoever.
4. Single Sports Betting Looks Set to Become Legal in 2021
When it comes to sports betting, at present, Canadian laws only allow parlay sports betting, which means bettors must place bets on multiple sports games. In 2021, a new bill was introduced to enable legal single-game sports betting. Bill C-218 is being objected to by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and other critics because they say it is a way for provinces and territories to profit from sports betting without needing to administer the program. However, the bill has had two readings in the House of Commons now and has been passed without any changes being required. After a third reading, if the upper chamber does not recommend any alterations, the bill will become law.
5. Other New Legislation Could Be on the Way
Canadian provinces and territories are still not unified in their approaches to gambling, so differences in gambling laws do occur from one place to another. In some provinces, discussions are underway about potential changes that could be made; especially in Ontario. At present, the province’s officials have been debating the issue of i-gaming and other matters, which could lead to Ontario establishing online casinos for the first time.